Terry Pratchett Essay

1099 words - 5 pages

Terry Pratchett is by no means an ordinary author. Recognized by his trademark aussie hat and his smirking writing style, his particular method is unlike any other, possibly even deserving its own genre. In any case, the sheer volume of influential literature he has produced has cemented his reputation as one of the greatest authors of our time.
Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948, in Buckinghamshire, England. He was the only child of his parents, David and Eileen Pratchett. In his younger days, Pratchett showed more interest in astronomy than writing, but was not good enough at math to make it a career. However, he did very well in all his other subjects, earning five O-levels. He then ...view middle of the document...

He is a strong advocate for research into a cure for Alzheimer’s, having donated one million dollars to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.
Pratchett’s novels have a very distinct feel to them. One of the most unique hallmarks is his use of footnotes that usually include a humorous aside from the narrative or background information. He also rarely uses chapters, claiming "life does not happen in regular chapters, nor do movies, and Homer did not write in chapters.” However, his most beloved trait is his puns and culture references that are a mainstay throughout all of his works. For example, his series includes a character named Cohen the Barbarian, or Genghiz Cohen, an obvious allusion to Conan the Barbarian and Genghis Khan. His most notable novels, Discworld, are satirical and funny, but always have an important philosophy behind them. He uses his wit to make light of events and negative aspects of life, while he treats serious issues with a more solemn tone. He draws his inspiration from almost everything, but one of his favorite genres is crime novels, which is why most of his books include the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Others are P.G. Wodehouse, Tom Sharpe, and Mark Twain. He is also continually frustrated by the exclusion of fantasy novels fromso-called “real fiction,” saying, “fantasy is fundamental to the way we understand the world and is therefore an integral aspect of all fiction.”
Night Watch is one of his novels that has received particularly high praise, even being called the peak of his abilities. It picks in a sub-series of novels following the exploits of Sam Vimes, a reformed drunk, as he tries to restore the old disreputable night watch to its former glory. In Night Watch, the fifth book, Vimes has established himself as a noble and wealthy man and risen to the Commander of the Watch, which is now respected and has a firm hold on crime in the city of Ankh-Morpork. The book begins on the anniversary of a legendary street rebellion in which Vimes was a part of and lost a few friends during. However, as Vimes pursues the cheerful serial killer Carcer across the roof of the Wizard’s University, a bolt of lightning strikes and...

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